Welcome to Cayo District
Cayo District is Belize's premier adventure and eco-activity region. The lush environs of the Wild West are covered with jungle, woven with rivers, waterfalls and azure pools, and dotted with Maya ruins ranging from small, tree-covered hills to massive, magnificent temples. Cahal Pech, Xunantunich, El Pilar and the mother of all Belizean Maya sites, Caracol, are all in Cayo.Travelers leave the coast and head inland... Read More
Top experiences in Cayo District
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Cayo District activities
Shared Arrival Transfer: Belize International Airport to San Ignacio Hotels
Enjoy a hassle-free airport arrival transfer from Philip S. W. Goldson International Airport (BZE) near Belize City to your San Ignacio hotel. This stress-free shared transfer will take you directly to your San Ignacio hotel. Your transfer will be confirmed instantaneously, and you will be provided with a travel voucher to present to the driver.
Tikal Day Trip from San Ignacio
Grab your passport and meet your local guide upon pickup from your San Ignacio hotel in the morning. Your day trip begins with an approximate 1.5-hour drive to Tikal National Park, located in Guatemala. Aboard your comfortable coach you'll cross over the border hassle-free! The ruins of more than 3,000 palaces, temples, ceremonial platforms, ball courts and plazas dot this UNESCO World Heritage Site that once served as a religious, social and political hub for the Maya people. Throughout your visit, your guide shares historical background on the ancient kingdom. Head to Complex Q and R, where you'll see twin pyramids with altars set in front of the temples. Visit the Central Acropolis, a maze of courtyards and smaller temples. Gaze in awe at the great plaza, whose massive Temple — the Temple of the Grand Jaguar — was built to honor and bury King Moon Double Comb. Here, three rooms are located inside the 144-foot (44-meter) temple, whose steep external stairs lead to the top. Take in the sight of Temple IV (the Double Head Serpent), Tikal’s tallest structure at 212 feet (64 meters) high. The intriguing Temple II, commonly known as the Temple of the Masks, also sits in this part of the park near the Great Plaza. The upper frieze was once adorned with gigantic stone and stucco masks!Enjoy a delicious lunch in Tikal National Park before you explore the ruins on your own. Afterward, your guide will transport you back to Belize with drop-off at your hotel in San Ignacio.
Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) Caves from San Ignacio
Considered one of the best caves of Central America, Actun Tunichil Muknal has been feature by National Geographic, the Discovery Channel and the History Channel. Your guide will pick you up at your hotel in San Ignacio for the drive to ATM — a place where only Mayan priests and shamans could venture 1,000 years ago. Travel for 45 minutes along the Western Highway of Belize to Teakettle Village. It’s another 30-minute drive on a bumpy road south of the village to the Tapir Nature Reserve—a subtropical rainforest that receives at least 8 feet (2.4 meters) of rain per year.Here, your experienced guide leads your group on an easy 45-minute hike to the cave. Walk along the bank of the Roaring River, which you’ll cross three times before arriving at the cave entrance, where a lovely pool awaits — especially refreshing on a sunny day. Depending on the time of arrival, you’ll eat lunch before or after your caving adventure.To prepare your group to enter the cave, your guide provides a historical overview and safety briefing. After you’ve been outfitted with equipment and taught a variety of spelunking techniques, the real fun begins! The water passage allows you to splash and play as you wade through the water, which may come up to your ankles, knees, waist and even neck — sometimes requiring you to swim.About five minutes into the cave, you’ll find your biggest challenge at the ‘breakdown’ — where slabs of rock form the passageway. Your guide will show your group how to go from one rock to the other and slide in between a couple of boulders. At one point, you’ll climb up to a ledge to enter one of the most attractive parts of the cave, where archeologists have recorded more than 1,000 pieces of pottery and 14 human sacrifices. To explore this chamber, you’ll be required to remove your shoes (socks or bare feet are an option) in order to protect the natural surroundings, including impressive formations like rock columns, stalactites, stalagmites, citrines and flowstones. While exploring this living museum, your guide will share fascinating details about ancient Mayan rituals and ceremonies that once took place deep under the earth. You’ll learn how the Mayan priests took human offerings into the caves, displayed pots in symbolic ways and communicated with their gods.After your spelunking adventure, your guide will transport you back to your hotel in San Ignacio.
Shared Departure Transfer: San Ignacio Hotel to Belize International Airport
When you're ready to head to Philip S. W. Goldson International Airport near Belize City, this stress-free shared transfer will take you there directly from your San Ignacio hotel. Your transfer will be confirmed instantaneously, and you will be provided with a travel voucher to present to the driver.
Caracol Day Trip from San Ignacio
Caracol, the largest Mayan archaeological site in Belize, was also the largest metropolis in the Maya lowlands during the Classic Period. In 650 AD, the urban area of Caracol had a radius of approximately 6 miles (10 km) around the center of the site. Caracol maintained a population of more than 140,000 people through the creation of an immense agricultural system and elaborate city planning. After hotel pickup in San Ignacio, board your comfortable minivan or SUV for the approximate 2.5-hour drive to Caracol, located within the Chiquibul Forest Reserve. En route, stop for a swim at Rio On Pools or Big Rock Falls, located on the Mountain Pine Ridge.Upon arrival, follow your guide on foot along a forest trail, where you’ll learn about regional flora and fauna as you take in the stunning scenery. Observe how the trees of this lowland tropical broadleaf rainforest have taken over, guarding the ancient mysteries of Caracol. You'll see where the Maya once gazed at the stars, conducted their most sacred rituals and plotted battles, including the 562 AD defeat of Tikal.Begin your tour at the Visitor's Center, which exhibits a number of artifacts from the site, including a recovered ceremonial altar. Your guide will recount the prehistory of peasants and nobles who built and used the courtyards, residences and astronomical observatory within the complex. Around midday, you'll enjoy a packed lunch before continuing your tour.View three plaza groups surrounding a central acropolis and two ball courts, along with a number of smaller structures. Visit Caracol’s largest building, a pyramid called Caana, which rises more than 140 feet (43 meters) above the forest floor—so massive that three temples sit atop its base. Today, it remains the tallest human-made structure in Belize.Your guide will point out the many hieroglyphic texts carved on stelae, altars and wall facades. Learn about the discovery of an ornately carved ball-court-marker, interpreted by archeologists as a claim of military victory over Tikal. At the end of your tour, board your coach for the return trip to San Ignacio with drop-off at your hotel.
Private Caracol Tour from San Ignacio
Your full-day tour will start early in the morning. Get ready to explore this wonderful Maya site. This tour will take you through the Mountain Pine Ridge and gives you a glimpse of its exotic flora and fauna surrounding Caracol's major structures (e.g.Caana) and astronomical observatory. The tour includes your tour guide, lunch, entrance fees and transportation on a comfortable air conditioned vehicle. It also includes an optional stop (swimming spots) at Rio on Pools. Your day will start at 7am from San Ignacio Town and takes you through the Mountain Pine Ridge before entering the Chiquibul Forest Reserve en route to the largest Maya site of Caracol in Belize. Climb the tallest man made structure in Belize called Caana and explore the living quarters of some of the most powerful elite, rulers of Caracol and walk where they once did. This tour offers the opportunity to glimpse the exotic wildlife that the spectacular nature reserve has to offer. Please let me know if you have any special dietary requirement.